Second ‘National Cinema Day’ Attracts 8.5 Million Moviegoers

The second National Cinema Day on Aug. 27 attracted 8.5 million moviegoers paying $4 each to see the top theatrical releases, including Barbie, Oppenheimer and Gran Turismo, across more than 3,000 domestic screens, according to the National Association of Theater Owners. That was up from 8.1 million moviegoers during last year’s inaugural special promotion on Sept. 3, 2022.

The promotion helped up Sunday’s theatrical revenue 20% to $31.5 million from $25.5 million during the previous Sunday, according to Box Office Mojo. The top-grossing  was Warner Bros. Pictures’ Barbie, which generated $7.75 million, up 23.1% from $6.3 million last Sunday. Warner’s Blue Beetle was No. 2 with $6 million, and Sony Pictures’ new release Gran Turismo with $4.71 million.

“National Cinema Day was a significant success in bringing together millions of film fans of all ages to enjoy movies on the big screen,” Bryan Braunlich, executive director of The Cinema Foundation, said in a statement. “Movie theaters and all our partners helped maximize the impact of the day with creative marketing and special promotions that added to the overall excitement, while a diverse slate of exciting films provided something for everyone to see.”

‘Gran Turismo’ Racing to Beat ‘Barbenheimer’ Across National Cinema Day Finish Line

Sony Pictures’ new video game-inspired auto racing/actioner Gran Turismo is projected to top the weekend box office through Aug. 27 — spurred in part by the industry-driven National Cinema Day on Sunday, on which all theatrical release tickets are priced at $4 nationwide.

Last year’s “Cinema Day” attracted more than 8 million moviegoers, the highest single-day theatrical box office attendance of 2022.

Directed by Neill Blomkamp (District 9), Gran Turismo, which co-stars Orlando Bloom, David Harbour and  Archie Madeke (as an esports gamer who becomes a professional race-car driver), is expected to generate more than $17 million in North American revenue for the weekend — enough to hold off summer blockbusters Barbie (projected $15.8 million), and Universal Pictures’ biopic Oppenheimer (projected $12.8 million), according to new data from Box Office Pro.

Gran Turismo generated $1.4 million in special Thursday sneak screenings.

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Warner Bros. Pictures’ Barbie, which just passed $1.3 billion at the global box office, should get a boost when it is released across 70mm Imax screens for the first time.

Other box office returnees include Warner’s DC superhero Blue Beetle (projected $12.4 million in ticket sales), Paramount Pictures’ Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem ($7.5 million), Universal’s live animation Strays ($4.8 million),  Warner’s Meg 2: The Trench ($4.4 million), Disney’s Haunted Mansion ($2.6 million), A24’s Talk to Me ($2.4 million), and Paramount’s enduring Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One ($2.1 million).

National Cinema Day (Sept. 3) to Offer $3 Movie Tickets Across Thousands of Screens for One Day

With movie theaters enduring one of the worst theatrical weekends, months since the pandemic, the Cinema Foundation is set to launch National Cinema Day on Sept. 3 — with movie tickets priced at $3 across more than 3,000 screens including AMC Theatres and Regal Cinemas.

The one-day only event features movies on all screens, including premium formats.

Fandango is celebrating the day in its listings.

“After this summer’s record-breaking return to cinemas, we wanted to do something to celebrate moviegoing,” Jackie Brenneman, Cinema Foundation president, said in a statement. “We’re doing it by offering a ‘thank you’ to the moviegoers that made this summer happen, and by offering an extra enticement for those who haven’t made it back yet.”

Despite the exuberance, the theatrical business is coming off a weekend that saw studios generate less than $53 million in ticket sales across North America.

Regal, which is considering bankruptcy following fiscal challenges that began during the pandemic, is aggressively promoting the cinema experience, including in the United Kingdom. Regal screening formats include Pepsi 4DX, where the on-screen visuals are enhanced through special effects including motion-synchronized seats, wind, fog, rain, lightning, snow, bubbles, vibration and scents.

ScreenX, a panoramic format creates an immersive, 270-degree viewing experience. Imax with Laser, featuring crystal clear laser projection and next generation precision sound, and Regal Premium Experience (RPX), which presents movies the way filmmakers intended with Dolby Atmos surround sound, laser projection and theatre seats that will feature ButtKicker technology in a custom-built premium environment.

“This day is for movie lovers across the U.S., celebrating how movies are meant to be seen, on the big screen,” Ken Thewes, Regal’s chief marketing officer, said in a statement.

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